Working with Gouache Paints

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Gouache is different from all other kinds of paints due to the fact that the colors have a somewhat opaque appearance; it is opaque and uses gum Arabic to attain its binding properties.

The opaque appearance of the paint can be attributed to the fact that the paint contains a whitish pigment that contains particles larger than water color. It is not easy for a beginner to understand the working of Gouache because it takes some amount of practice. So you don’t have to worry even if your painting has a smudgy look because with time and practice you can even it and make your picture lovely.

Though opaque in appearance you don’t get that translucent look with Gouache.

This paint is not used by amateurs but rather by professional artists and illustrators. If you observe advertising posters at close quarters you will see that they are made with Gouache.

The paint usually comes in the tube or in the pot form. You have to remember to dilute Gouache because when the paint is in the paste form you will not get the desired result. You have to use ox gall and wait for the paint to reach its liquid form before you start painting. You can also use distilled water if you don’t have ox gall. Lightly load the brush or too much paint will give you a lumpy painting. Mix the paints onto a palette and use a separate brush for the mixing. If you feel the paint is cracking at places, then use a little bit of gum paint and mix with the Gouache. Gum paint will bind the paint well.

Tools To Make Your Painting Great

  • Gouache paint
  • Paintbrushes of varying shapes and sizes
  • Tissues to clean your brushes
  • Distilled water
  • Ox gall
  • Arabic gum
  • A dropper or something which you can take tiny quantities of water
  • A couple of palettes to mix your colors
  • Acrylic varnish
  • Table easel to support your painting

Tips to make worthy paintings out of Gouache

Never apply too much of the paint because it has a tendency to crack and peel. However when trying this paint for the first time, it can be a bit difficult to spread it thinly and evenly. You need to apply only a little bit of the paint and you can cover a lot of area with that.

To make your Gouache paints last long, you can buy them in tubes because it will not evaporate that easily. It can stay up to 3 years without evaporation; however, it depends on the climatic conditions of the area you store your paints in.

To get best results with your paint you need to use it on paper; smooth cartridge paper or water color paper will do just fine.

Sometimes water spillage could mar your painting, so to protect that from happening with Gouache you can easily mix your painting with acrylic medium. It is safer to use acrylic because certain colors can react and change in appearance. Especially, pinks and violets and with other colors the mixing could produce a gelatinous texture.

You can slightly wet and rewet your painting once you are done. No chemical reactions occur when water comes into contact with Gouache.

You can add more color and life to your painting by varnishing it in the end. If you want to prevent runs, then you can apply some spray varnish.

The Best Brands of Gouache

These wonderful brands will give you beautiful hues, brilliant colors and the best results:

Windsor and Newton with 84 colors
Da Vinci has with 28 colors
Lefranc and Bourgeois with 49 colors
Schmincke with 79 colors
Holbein with 100 colors
Pebeo with 97 colors

Enjoy the paints and the painting! :)

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